B I B L I O LO G Y

(TH 914)

INSPIRATION, INERRANCY, INFALLIBILITY, CANONICITY, AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP.

BY

Gilbert Varela
A final paper: Presented to GOLDEN STATE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY For the Course of Bibliology ((TH 514 / TH 914))

August, 2001 EMAIL: gvarelas2000@Yahoo.com

Inspiration comes form the Greek word Theopneustos Theo = God. Scripture was also used as a term in the N.T. Inspiration is that work of the Holy Spirit which guarantees the accuracy of the writing of the Bible. it is of no value.T. considering as the authentic Word of the Lord. that the Bible is the authoritative. how can it be the guide and light for your daily walk? So. . If the Bible is not true. to describe other parts of the N. I. That is to say that through the Holy Spirit.T. If the Bible is not exactly the way God wanted it to be. and N. How important is to know. INTRODUCTION A. God's message to mankind." There is no more important teaching about the Bible than that of inspiration. inspired. books were regarded as inspired of God (II Tim 3:16. If you don’t have a clear conception of the Bible as inspired revelation of God. Terminology The term Bible is from biblion which means as roll or book (Luke 4:17) It is a term of the Scripture found in the N. We teach that the Bible is inspired of God and without error. for sure. The importance of studying the doctrines about the Scripture. Pneustos = breathed Inspiration means God Breathed the word of scripture. Rom 3:2). It is so. This doctrine gives us the confidence in the Bible that we must have if we are going to use the Bible as our guide. C. INERRANCY. We agree with the orthodox view of the Bible which views the Bible as the only authority in matters of faith and practice. refers to the sacred books of the O. T. "Inspiration is God's superintending of human authors so that using their own individual personalities they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original manuscripts". Definition.T. it fails to give us His message clearly. INFALLIBILITY.T. And those O.INSPIRATION. and revealed and inerranted Word of God? There is not more important doctrine in theology than those who are related to the Bible. Orthodox view of the Bible. B. because of the others doctrines are based upon what the Bible teach about. I. John 10:35. is used in the O. how can you trust its teaching? If you don’t have a deep respect and appreciation for the Bible. AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP. The terminology "The Word of God". WHAT IS INSPIRATION? A. We must be sure that the writing of the Word of God was done accurately. This is called "inspiration. Heb 4:12). (2 Peter 3:16). I can’t emphases enough the important of these concepts as foundation for a clear and deep maturity in the knowledge of God. CANONICITY. (Matt 15:6.T. God guided the writing of the Bible so that it is exactly what He wanted to be written.

then. He had a human nature (Luke 2:52). Christ was also divine and human. Inspiration is like the proper functioning of the radio station which guarantees that the message is sent out clearly and properly without missing even one word.1 Man was an active instrument used in its writing. God is invisible (Colossians 1:15)." God says about Moses." In the Greek language this is said "logos." The Holy Spirit was also the one though whose power the virgin birth took place. Buenos Aires: Editorial Escaton. This means that He is the expression of God that can be seen. Bibliology. Inspiration guarantees that the Bible says accurately and clearly what God wants us to know. He is God. God gave us the Bible. The importance of the Inspiration. WV. just as if it were the word spoken over the radio. He is also divine. Historia de la Biblia y Santa Escritura. Luke 1:35 says." (Deuteronomy 18:18). Imagine that God is giving us His message over the radio. It is without error. pp. We have already mentioned much about the Bible being at once a divine book and yet bearing the mark of the human authors. He had a human birth. God tells us what He wants us to know about Himself in the Written Word. B. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Christ is the full picture of God. The Holy Spirit was the one through whom the inspiration of the Bible came.We can put these teachings all together with the matter of inspiration like this. and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. 102181. Look at 1 Corinthians 2:9-13. Introducción a la Biblia. They are both totally divine and yet totally human. Psalm 12:6 says that the "words of the Lord are flawless. pp. 2 Peter 1:21 says. Revelation is the act of God speaking to us what He wants us to know. Golden State Press. there are two that are of special interest to us. and yet both are totally without error or sin. Peterstown. Of the many works of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible. the Bible is all of God. but He formed the writers as well. Verse 12 talks about illumination and verse 13 talks about inspiration. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man. 1999. Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit which gives us the ability to understand God's accurate revelation in the Bible. 1967. Illumination is like having the proper kind of radio so that we can hear the message. All three of these functions are mentioned in one part of the Bible. John 1:1 tells us that Christ was the "word. Madrid: Editorial de Autores Cristianos. He was and is totally human and totally divine. but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 3. Parker James L. It is not right to call it the Word of man. 1 Ridderbos. Verse 10 talks about things having been revealed. The Word is completely divine and completely human. but the Bible is of God. Inspiration is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the result of man's writing and the work of the Holy Spirit. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. How. can we see God? Christ is the visible copy of the invisible God. The Bible is the written Word of God and Jesus Christ is the living Word of God (John 1:1). That was the act of giving revelation. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you.31 2 See also Tuya and Salguero. It is quite right to call the Bible the Word of God. It takes all three to make sure that we get God's message. He had a human body. Exodus 4:15 and Jeremiah 1:9 also illustrate that the very words of God were put into the mouths of some of the Old Testament prophets. "I will put my words in his mouth. a human mother. . He is the expression of what God wants us to know about Himself. He shows us what He wants us to know about Himself in the Living Word (Jesus Christ). 2 There are a number of characteristics that are shared by the Written Word and the Living Word. Herman. 3 Is there teaching in the Bible that suggests that each and every word of the Bible is inspired? Is every word protected by the Holy Spirit so that the Bible is exactly what God wants to be recorded? There are numerous places where this is taught. The main point is this. The whole Bible is from God since He not only breathed the Word through the writers." Both of the works of the Holy Spirit produced the Word of God." Logos means a clear explanation of though in words. but a human nature without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

4 Our statement of belief went on to say that the Bible is not only inspired word-by-word.T.T." The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking in these verses. The apostles were aware that they were recording God's word (I Cor. not the least stroke of a pen. Distinctives of Verbal. We will talk more about whether or not there are mistakes in the Bible in a later chapter.T. are Scripture (I Tim 5:17. Inspiration demands it ~ that which is God-breathed cannot contain error or the character of God is damaged. By this we mean the every word was inspired. We teach that the verbal plenary inspiration of Scriptures extends to the original manuscripts. None of the teachings is so clear and vivid as the teaching of Matthew 5:18 where it says. as we see in changed lives. The teaching is quite clear that all scripture is given by inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16). until heaven and earth disappear. 37. but that it is inspired in all of its parts. Plenary Inspiration. "I tell you the truth. The Scriptures have had and still do have a definite influence on men. is also evidence of O. John 10:35). we know that the Lord was referring to the Old Testament. 2:13.T. We teach that verbal plenary inspiration was God superintending (not dictating) men of God. 2. God is saying that inspiration is so important that it extends not only to the words. 30:2)." That was the Jewish way of referring to the entire Old Testament and to the law in particular. let us simply say that if we cannot trust every word of the Bible.T. The Bible has been preserved even though many other ancient books have perished. Acts 28:25. Verbal plenary inspiration extends to the actual words that men of God composed and recorded. II. we can trust none of it. D. The subject matter is not something men would write on their own if they could. in the N. Inerrancy means that when all the facts are known. not the smallest letter. The Bible records that prophecy was not written down by the will of man. will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. The quoting of the O. records specific commands to write down the word of the Lord (Exodus 17:14. since we have no way of knowing which parts are correct and which are not. Plenary Inspiration. 35 5 Ibid. I Peter 1:11-12). In the previous verse He mentions the "law and the prophets. 1. INTERNAL EVIDENCE We teach that the Bible contains claims of men of God that It is inspired (II Timothy 3:16). inspiration (Matt. but rather as men were moved/"borne along" by the Holy Spirit (2. The N. Proof of Verbal. 4 Ibid. Jer. II Peter 3:16).5 C. pp.5:17. Matt. So. The O. claims that other portions of the N. 7. II Peter 1:21). For now. 15:4. but to the very letters of the words and even to parts of a letter. This view sees the Scripture as being without error/inerrant. WHAT IS INERRANCY? What's Inerrancy mean anyway? The Bible is with out error. We must accept the teaching of the Bible when it says that it was given by inspiration. EXTERNAL EVIDENCE The Bible has maintained unity over 1500 years even though there were 40 different authors.There are numerous places where the Old Testament writings are said to be of God and the emphasis is on the very words. . Every part is protected by God so that every word is exactly as God wants us to have it. Prideful man would not record his short comings as we find in the Bible. the Scriptures in their original autographs will be shown to be totally true in everything they teach.T.

not hearthly. Pp. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. God has promised that His Holy Spirit 6 Ramm Bernard. subtracted from or refuted. "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. we cannot lose our salvation (John 10:28). Special Revelation and the Word of God. What is wrong is wrong. INFALIBILITY OF THE SCRIPTURES Jesus said about the Bible. however. Because we know that God is God and He is trustworthy7 III. God. 22:31-32. op cit. happen and cannot be changed. Do you remember what it says in 1 Corinthians 2:14? It says. many of the seeming errors will become plain to us 4.5:17. If they cannot understand it and if it does not agree with their experience. God tells us His Word is true. It cannot be gotten around. 65. He cannot. It is very comforting to know that the Bible is not only true but that its truth cannot change. broken. The Bible never fails in what it says. How can threat be authoritative? We teach that the Scripture reveals the trustworthiness of God's character (John 17:3. That is a very important statement. "am"). for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them. That is much the way many people approach the Bible. writes about things that are Heavenly and that are spiritual. in His Word. Its judgments are always correct. Inerrancy states that the Bible is true. "seed". We must believe it is true even when it appears to be in error. because they are spiritually discerned. God has promised that if we truly believe in Jesus Christ we will eventually go to heaven. indeed." This is very like inerrancy but there is a little difference. The Bible shows Jesus concern for the original form of a word (Gal. It doesn't occur to them that man's experience is limited to earth and to physical things. We want to understand exactly what it is saying to us. 161-182 7 Parker.6 The teaching of Christ shows that He viewed the OT as God true word (Matt." In reading the Bible we must believe that it is true because it is from God. He cannot. We can trust it: 1. Satan would like very much to change that. 1961. We can confidently place our trust in the Word of God . Matt. Infallibility states that what the Bible says will happen will. . John 10:35). Because we know that God has many things in His spiritual universe that we cannot know since we are only men 2. We must believe that His Word is true even when we do not understand it. then man has to become the judge over which parts are true and which aren't. What is right is right. Because we know that if we wait long enough and learn enough. then we are saying that God is not worthy of our trust. He tells us it is without error. God has promised that once we have placed faith in Jesus Christ. Because we know that God has not revealed everything to us 3. In English we say that it cannot be broken. All Scripture fits together and there is no way that it can be loosened. In the original Greek language the idea was that Scripture cannot be loosened. What was right in the days of Moses is still right today and will still be right when your grandchildren have grown old and died.John 17:17 "His Word is truth" Hebrews 6:18 "God cannot lie" Biblical Authority demands it. p. Rom. The man who has had no spiritual life given to him will not understand these things. 3:4). 3:16. they say it is wrong. The idea is that what the Bible says cannot be contradicted. The Bible is of spiritual character. Satan would like very much to change that. If we do not believe that. The fact that the Bible never fails and cannot be contradicted is the basis for what we call "infallibility. If the Bible is not total truth. "Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35).

Hermeneutica Biblica." Ultimately. Canonicity carries with it far more meaning than just inclusion on a list. 1:20-21 "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. It was accepted as authoritative by Israel. 12 8 No author. 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God. pp. CANONICITY OF THE BIBLE What is Canonicity? The quality or state of being canonical. Madrid: Clie.doc 12 Martinez. 10 Stott. Canon comes from the Greek word kanon meaning “measuring rod” or “rule". Satan would like to change that. whether it is so recognized by man or not. Manuel. inspiration determines canonicity. Important ~ Canonicity is determined by God. http://members. Fundamental Considerations.9 Let us start with the understanding of one very important fact. 1986. who gave the book. indeed. If a book is inspired of the Holy Spirit. The canonicity of a book is a quality of that book from the moment it is written. He is the authority in the matter. Pp. John R. 3:15-16) The Bible claims itself to be the word of God. Ultimately the Authority of the Bible is based on the authority of God. It means that it is inerrant and infallible and authoritative. http://members. The Bible is infallible and its truths and teachings cannot change or fail to be fulfilled. Man does not determine canonicity. 8The canonicity of the books of the Bible has to do with whether each book is.180-183 11 No author. (Matt 5:17-18) It was viewed as authoritative by the Apostles. Canonicity has to do with the authenticity (genuineness) of the individual books of the Bible. Whatever examinations of men and the church might have taken place. men simply recognize what God has revealed. Tuya and Salguero Op cit.10 How can we know which books belong in the Bible? The criterion of canonicity is inspiration. 6:6-7) It was accepted as authoritative by Christ. To say that a book is canonical does not merely mean that it is part of an accepted list but means that it is actually part of God's revelation to us. Canonical books are our rule of faith and practice. The Bible proves it's own authenticity and church councils of the past have merely recognized the authority understood in the books themselves. they were not what determined that a particular book was canonical. Como Comprender la Biblia.doc 9 Cf. The canonicity of a book is determined by God.truepath. Buenos Aries: Certez.will never leave us until we are safely in heaven (Ephesians 4:30). No book of the Bible became canonical (became part of God's Word) because it had been examined by men who then decided that the book was canonical. All this means is that those 66 books and only those 66 books are the inspired Word of God. 377. IV. Deut. Man's word does not change whether the book is really from God or not. 28 .truepath. 1:8. it is canonical. whether man says it is canonical or not. Any other books don't fit. We speak of the 66 books of the Bible as the Canon of scripture. conforming to a general rule or acceptable procedure. (2 Pet. We teach that God could have guided the councils so that the canon was distinguished. 2 Tim. 11 A.com/Altoid/Theology_Bibliology. p.com/Altoid/Theology_Bibliology. An inspired book was part of the canon the moment it was written. 1977. part of God's revelation. He cannot." 2 Pet. (Josh.W.

4:16). D.T.T. The content of the book must agree with other books in the Canon. INERRANCY CANNONICITY “Every Scripture inspired of God” II Tim. 1. The Principles of the Canonicity of N.C.B. 5:17-1 8. books. 23:35. canon before the 2nd century B. 1. 25:4. inerrancy. indicating that it was an authoritative standard. The N. The verbal and plenary divine inspiration of the . COMPARATION OF CONCEPTS INSPIRATION . 2.). In 2 Pet 3:15-16.T. as scripture (Matt. II and III John. bearing evidence of high moral and spiritual value reflecting the work of the Holy Spirit? V. canon Matt. The Canon of the O.C. Col.) C. Infallibility. and cannonicity are not separated. certain books were universally accepted as inspired according to internal and external evidence.T.solid evidence of a fully developed O. 3:16. In I Tim 5:17.T.T. Paul quoted extensively from the O. Christ recognized the O. Canon. All the books were recognized except Hebrews. 5:27. One apostle referred to another apostles writings as part of Scripture. At the Council of Carthage (397 AD). The NT books are acknowledged as inspired and part of Scripture by the Apostles. regards the O. Books. 2. or independent but indissoluble united by the doctrine of Inspiration from which they comes naturally. In general it should answer questions such as: Did the book indicate divine authorship? Was the human author a spokesman of God? A prophet? Was the book historically correct? Did it reflect a record of actual fact? How was the book received by the Jews?The Bible itself gives evidence to an OT canon that was collected and recognized by Ezra (500 B. II Peter.T. Peter declares Paul’s letters to be scripture. The apostles claimed authority for their own and other apostles writings (I Thess.T. The Formation of the N. The Dead Sea Scrolls . Paul refers to Luke 10:7 as being Scripture equally with Deut. they listed 27 canonical N. John 10:3 5 "The scripture cannot be broken" 3. Also.T. In general the book should answer questions such as: Was the author an apostle or did he have a connection with an apostle (Mark wrote under Peter's authority)? Was the book accepted by the church at large? Many false books were rejected Did the book reflect a consistency of doctrine with what had been accepted teaching? Did the book reflect the quality of inspiration.

For this reason we say with all confidence. Buenos Aires: Clie. Hermeneutica Biblica. Bibliology. Madrid: Clie. 14 Di Pardo Op cit. That’s I why in order to discuss the interrelationship between those concepts it was necessary include a brief presentation of every concept itself. The Holy Scriptures. canonicals.Scriptures. It is infallible. 3.14 One reason for saying that inerrancy is so important is that truth and inspiration are closely tied together. inspired.15 The Holy Bible is infallible in all its teachings. p. is. 114. 1986. Heb. 1999. Golden State Press. the task of revelation and inspiration. 14:17. 8:26). just to know what we were talking about. So. Peterstown. Infallibility states that what the Bible says will happen will. Christ himself support the fully authority of the Bible when He says: It is written. They are so crucial because they relay on each other. The doctrine of Inspiration compromises the character itself of God. that the Bible is the Word of God and we say about then to be trustworthy of our trust. we should readily accept the fact that the Bible is authoritative." This is very like inerrancy but there is a little difference. 2 Cort. indeed. Martinez. If it is. Are infallible and inerrant. which support his written Word. we say that the Scripture is so true. WV. It is complete in its canon. inerrancy and authority of the Bible. They are without error and have the absolute authority and cannonicity of God Himself. We cannot talk about the inspiration without having in mind the idea of a God communicating with us. because their inspired by God. 3:33. . Inerrancy states that the Bible is true. Manuel. The Bible claims for itself that it is given by inspiration. 2. the Holy Spirit is true (Jn. and therefore. Peterstown. 16:13). Parker James L. it is the character of God. we cannot affirm inspiration without affirming the infallibility and therefore the connonicity of the Scriptures. With those ideas in mind. inerrable in everything that it written in it and therefore authoritative in it is contain. 32:4). 6:7a. We have established that the Bible is the Word of God. p. 114-115 15 Parker James L. can only produce as result one thing: The Word of True (cf. The fact that the Bible never fails and cannot be contradicted is the basis for what we call "infallibility. the Son is the true (Jn. The Father is truth (Jn. La Santa Biblia: Palabra Inspirada de Dios. You must remember that inspiration is that work of the Holy Spirit by which He guarantees the accuracy of the writing of what God wanted man to know. 13 Di Pardo. It is inerrant. 15:26. just as the One who inspired them is. 14:6). WV. the unmovable foundation upon which rest its infallibility. God is “God of true” (Deut. Bibliology. Buenos Aires: Clie. Armando. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Di Pardo. Eph. CONCLUSION: There are not others concept more important to grasp in order to have a clear picture of what the Bible is for the believer than the concepts discuss above. true and thus free from error. 6:7. indeed. 1999. Therefore they are authoritatives. 1:13a. La Santa Biblia: Palabra Inspirada de Dios. The three Persons of the Holy Trinity working on the same project.13 The order is the following: 1. happen and cannot be changed. then it is. Golden State Press. indeed. Pp. 114. Armando.

1967 Ramm Bernard.com/Altoid/Theology_Bibliology. Herman. Buenos Aries: Certez.Tuya and Salguero. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Madrid: Editorial de Autores Cristianos. http://members. Como Comprender la Biblia. John R.doc The International Standard Bible as it is in the Power Bible. 1961 Ridderbos. . Buenos Aires.truepath. Introducción a la Biblia. Historia de la Biblia y Santa Escritura. 1967 Stott.W. Editorial Escaton. Electronic and Internet No author. Special Revelation and the Word of God. 1977.